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Sky Blue Plumbago

Plumbago auriculata Imperial Blue

Q: Can you recommend a small, easy flowering shrub for a hot, sunny location at the front of my house? I have lawn sprinklers, but they may not provide sufficient moisture. I attempted to grow roses and gardenias previously, but unfortunately, they didn't thrive. I'm eager to see some flowers, but I confess my watering habits aren't the best... Is there any hope for me?

A: Don't lose hope just yet! We have the perfect solution for you. Plumbago is tailor-made for hot, sunny locations, offering a vibrant display of flowers with minimal effort required. This resilient plant is a true asset for southern landscapes, boasting adaptability, drought tolerance, rapid growth, and an extended blooming season. Plumbago's sky-blue blossoms are guaranteed to elevate the aesthetic of your outdoor space with their enchanting allure. With varieties like Imperial Blue and Pure White being among the hardiest cultivars, you're sure to find success with this delightful shrub.

Plumbago auriculata Alba


Cat of the Day: Matilda

Gray Manx cat Matilda

Introducing Matilda, the newest member of the Top Tropicals PeopleCats.Garden family. Matilda is a Manx cat, a special breed known for being tailless, originally from the Isle of Man.

Matilda is a loving and friendly cat who enjoys her meals. After dining with her fellow PeopleCats, she dutifully cleans all 11 dishes. While she may still remember her days in the bushes, Matilda is now happily settling into her new life at Top Tropicals. Stay tuned for more stories about this unique cat breed in our upcoming Cat Breeds Series.


Year of the Dragon: Chinese or Vietnamese?

Green Wooden Baby Dragon

Q: Is Chinese New Year the same as Vietnamese Tat? I want to buy a Vietnamese Micky Mouse plant and I am wondering if this would be also a lucky plant for the Year of the Dragon?

A: Vietnam, as well as other parts of Asia, is celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Dragon, which falls on February 10. Vietnam and neighboring China share 10 of the zodiac calendar's 12 signs: the rat, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The Vietnamese traditional Tet market in Hanoi is covered in hues of red and gold, colors that represent good luck and fortune. One of the most significant plants is the golden-flowered Ochna. But there are several other plants associated with the Lunar New year, as well as Dragon Year.

Green Wooden Dragon has specific favorite plants, including all species of Dragon fruits, Lychee or First Dragon’s Eye (Litchi sinensis), Longan or Second Dragon’s Eye (Euphoria longana), Creeping Philodendrons, and the Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata).

Learn more:

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria 

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata). According to ancient Chinese manuscripts, the Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) is crucial for Dragons, as it is believed to be connected to their existence, guarding and complementing each other. Growing these plants is considered auspicious and is believed to safeguard the Dragon family.

Green Wooden Baby Dragon

The most celebrated flower in Vietnam, Ochna integerrima, called in Vietnam Hoa Mai or Mai Vang, blooms profusely on the occasion of Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.


Ixora odorata - exclusive flower with fine perfume

Ixora odorata flowers

Q: I see you have a very special plant - Ixora odorata with fragrant flowers, I've heard that the fragrance is heavenly. Is it easy to grow? Can I plant it as a hedge, like a regular ixora bush?

A: Indeed, Ixora odorata is quite special. It's a must-have for any tropical plant enthusiast, often likened to esteemed fragrance collectibles like Ylang Ylang or the Joy Perfume Tree. While it shares the genus with the common Southern landscape plant, Ixora, cultivating Ixora odorata requires some special attention. We wouldn't recommend using this rare exotic as a hedge; it's best suited as a centerpiece or specimen in your garden. The effort is certainly rewarded, as the sweet fragrance of its flowers is truly remarkable, reminiscent of Jasmines. Here are some tips for growing Ixora odorata:

1. Temperature. Ixora odorata is sensitive to cold and can't withstand even light frost. Protect it by growing it in a container that can easily be brought indoors during cold weather.
2. Soil. Like all ixoras, Ixora odorata prefers acidic soil. This is easily achieved since it's typically grown in a pot. High-quality potting soil, such as Sunshine Abundance, tends to have a lower pH (acidic), has low pH (acidic).
3. Light. Unlike most ixoras, Ixora odorata prefers shade to filtered sunlight, unlike most ixoras that are full sun plants.
4. Water. Ixora odorata prefers drier conditions during winter, so reduce watering in the winter months. In summer, regular watering is necessary, as it won't tolerate drying out.
5. Insect control. Ixora odorata can be susceptible to insects during winter. Keep an eye out for mealybugs during winter. Monitor the leaves, especially underneath.
5. Prune after flowering.
6. Fertilizer. Feed Ixora odorata with Sunshine Boosters Megaflor for most profule flowering and healthy waxy leaves.

Ixora odorata blooms in winter, making it a delightful addition to your home during the colder months. What can be better having this perfume factory! It's a true gem that's worth the extra care and attention - it deserves to be pampered!

Ixora odorata flowers

We bring our Ixora odorata indoors during winter. It is happy to sit in a large bathtub with a skylight above it. It flowers all winter long, filling the air with light perfume not only in the bathroom and bedroom, but in the whole house. And of course, cats love it too!


Mark your calendars: March 2, 2024

March 2, 2024 - SATURDAY - Spring Plant Market: March into Spring!

Plant Festival "March into Spring!"
Saturday, March 2, 9 am - 4 pm

Save the date! On March 2, 2024, join us for our vibrant Plant Festival, "March into Spring!"
Dive into a world of lush greenery, blooming delights, and rare fruit trees at our garden event. Discover unbeatable sales, exclusive deals, delightful gift bags, and receive free plants with every purchase.
Don't miss out on this opportunity to embrace the beauty of spring and elevate your garden to new heights!

Highlights of the event:

30% OFF online prices, one day only! (excluding 15 gallon material and rare plants)
Gift bags - for first 25 customers with $50 order
Secret Garden: Super savings area 50-70% off
$5 and $10 plants
Free plant with any purchase as a token of our appreciation

Event discounts valid at both locations:

Ft Myers Garden Center: 13890 Orange River, Ft Myers, FL
Sebring B-Farm: 9100 McRoy Rd, Sebring, FL

Facebook event page - Download invitation

Cat with plants in a bag


2/10/2024: Chinese Year of the Dragon

2024 Year of the Dragon

Q: What is the lucky plant for Chinese New Year 2024?

A: 2024 is the year of the Green Wooden Dragon according to the Chinese calendar. It will be celebrated this year on Saturday, February 10.
Dragon symbol is considered the most powerful in Chinese astrology, representing energy, strength, and power.

The lucky plant of the year 2024, the Dragon fruit, steals the show with its striking red skin and juicy white flesh. Plates overflow with succulent slices of dragon fruit, its fiery red skin contrasting beautifully with the snowy white flesh speckled with tiny black seeds, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.

2024 the year of the Green Wooden Dragon with Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit comes in many varieties that differ in flavor, sweetness, and texture.


2024: Groundhog Predicted an Early Spring!

2024 Groundhog early Spring

Q: Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow this year?

A: Every Feb. 2, the Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes out of hibernation in Pennsylvania to let his shadow "do the talking." If his shadow appears, Americans are in for six more weeks of winter. If it doesn't, spring will come early. Last year, the groundhog predicted a longer winter.
This year, Phil did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring!

So, what are we waiting for?
Time to do some plant shopping!

2024 Early Spring is official - Cat

Capsicum annuum x chinense - Biquinho Pepper

Photo above: Capsicum annuum x chinense - Biquinho Pepper. The small, bright orange to red fruits are known for their intense habanero flavor, although they typically have little or no heat. In recent years, the Biquinho Pepper has become popular in South America, and is often pickled and served as a snack with caviar. It is also a great addition to salsas, guacamoles, and Bloody Marys.


Valentine Sweetheart Hoya:
a must gift for your Valentine

Hoya kerrii - Sweetheart, Valentine Hoya

Q: What plant can you recommend for a Valentines Day present?

A: There is a perfect plant specifically for Valentine's Day! When it comes to finding the ideal plant for an occasion, it doesn't get better than this one. The Sweetheart Hoya, also known as Valentine Hoya or Hoya kerrii, is not only easy to grow but also easy-ship, making it the most user-friendly of all houseplants. Its popularity has soared in recent years, thanks to its unique and quirky "heart" shaped leaves that appeal to everyone and bring smiles to faces. In addition to these charming leaves, the Sweetheart Hoya produces fragrant, beautiful flowers resembling tiny red stars. These flowers are not only stunning but also waxy, durable, and long-lasting.

Caring for the Sweetheart Hoya is a breeze, requiring only minimal attention. It can likely thrive with just one good watering a month - that's how hardy it is. While this plant prefers a reasonably well-lit room for optimal growth, it can still fare well in shadier spots, making it a versatile addition to any home or office. Don't wait till the last moment, get your Valentine's present now - the best one ever!

We have large developed plants, ready to bloom!
Buy one (for her/him) - get one free, for yourself!

Hoya kerrii - Sweetheart, Valentine Hoya

Don't forget some plant food for it!

SUNSHINE Bombino - Young Plant Vigor Booster

SUNSHINE Bombino - Young Plant Vigor Booster


Cat of the Month:
Winter Adventure of Lisa the Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat - Skogkatt Lisa on the table

After publishing the story about Skogkatts - Norwegian Forest Cats, we received inquiries about Lisa, if she is available for adoption? Luckily, Lisa now has her wonderful sweet home in Sweden, so unfortunately for those who fell in love with her, she is not adoptable. But Lisa's life story wasn't all that sweet and simple! Rather thrilling and adventurous. So we decided to share her story with you...

By Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

"...Lisa, who illustrated our story about Skogkatt Cat Breed, lives with my daughter Vanda, along with her family: husband Vitaly and two children - Max and Maria. They live in Sweden. Lisa is 13 years old now. About 10 years ago, Lisa had a heartbreaking adventure almost ended with a tragedy... But luckily, she made it through. However, since then, she can't jump high and sometimes walks funny, sways and limps... And here's what happened..."

Norwegian Forest Cat - Skogkatt Lisa with girl Maria


Sunshine Boosters PRO - for Professionals

Vegetables and greens

Q: Winter marks the vegetable season in Florida, and my half-acre vegetable garden in Highlands County thrives during this time. I cultivate a variety of produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, beets, various lettuces, radishes, and beans. Despite the sandy and poor soils, I manage a bountiful harvest that not only sustains my extended family but also provides for friends throughout the winter. To combat our sandy soil challenges, I heavily rely on fertilizers.

Recently, I came across your Sunshine Boosters products, and the results on my tomatoes were astonishing. They grew twice as fast compared to those on a "manure" bed. What I appreciate most about your product is its natural composition, allowing me to use it on edibles. The convenience of easily integrating liquid fertilizer into our irrigation system is a game-changer.

I'm curious if you offer budget-friendly deals on your boosters for larger gardens?

SUNSHINE PRO - Complete Nutrition Booster Kit Pro, fertilizer


A: Absolutely! We have just the solution you're looking for - our Professional Series of Sunshine Boosters is tailored for avid growers like you. Having catered to the needs of various crops, including tomato and hemp farms, our natural, amino acid-based professional formulas are the most economical choice for any scale of production.

Our professional series covers everything, from small backyard gardens to extensive greenhouses. The feeding process involves just three solutions mixed with water in your fertilizer tank: NPK (Advantage or BloomBoom, depending on the growth stage), Ca-Support (Calcium supplement), and Microelements (Constanta-Pro). This comprehensive nutrient package meets all your garden's needs. (See advanced info about Sunshine PRO products.)

Explore our professional solutions at the Top Tropicals Online Store. For larger quantities, you can directly order from the SunshineBooster.com professional selection or just contact us for a customized quote.

If you haven't implemented an injector system yet, consider the Robuster - an easy-to-install, care-free automatic system that takes care of all the work for you.

Cat with cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes